Archives for January 12, 2018

Getting Girls into STEM with Pretty Curious by EDF Energy

I’ve been seeing the STEM campaign by EDF Energy on social media for a while and was initially surprised to learn that of all the people working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) related jobs, only a small percentage were women. Years ago I would’ve thought that to be the case but not in this day and age surely? Maybe boys have been naturally drawn to those subjects in the past because of the generations before them, and girls go to the more arty type subjects at school. I don’t know. But I do know that unless schools and us as parents are actively trying to change these perceptions and teaching girls about the diverse roles these subjects can lead to… nothing will change.

pretty curious EDF Energy

Step forward EDF Energy! They decided to create their Pretty Curious campaign which has been running for a few years now and has been incredibly successful. It was set up to raise awareness and give young girls the opportunity to learn about the industries they could work in. Just one in four people working in core STEM roles in the UK are women and EDF Energy is reliant on STEM skills not only to deliver a low-carbon energy future but also to create smarter energy solutions. That’s why they they want to recruit from the widest talent pool possible including a new generation of STEM advocates.

Having a 12 year old daughter myself, I do actively encourage her to explore STEM subjects, especially technology which I know she’s interested in already, and Maths because she’s quite good at it (she doesn’t particularly like it though!). She loves making things and getting stuck in so when we were asked if we’d like to take part in this campaign and receive a Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit, my daughter was very excited!

EDF Energy have partnered up with Star Wars: The Last Jedi recently as they believe having a major movie on board which features two inspirational female lead characters with strong STEM skills… Rose and Rey, can encourage girls to look at STEM in a new light.

pretty curious edf energy star wars

pretty curious edf energy star wars

When the Droid Inventor Kit arrived, it was all I could do to keep my twin boys away from it! They just assumed it was for them and I guess therein lies the problem. Because the toy was a mechanical, construction robot thing, my boys immediately thought it had come for them. I would go so far as to say they were even a little shocked when I told them no, it was for their sister! They looked at each other in disbelief!

Why is that? It’s that stereotypical gender role argument… that boys usually have all the building toys and girls would have the creative toys or dolls etc. To be fair, being an R2-D2 I personally would never have bought something like this for my daughter and it DOES look like a boys toy, so it’s taught me something too right there! It’s silly though because there’s no reason why girls shouldn’t build and construct things…. they’re just as capable and enjoy it just as much!

This is why I love this campaign.

So, I made sure the boys took a back seat this time… they could sit and watch! The kit was fantastic. Created by Little Bits, who make customisable, remote control toys, comes with everything they need to make the Droid, including batteries!

The first thing to do is download the App. This provides all the instructions as well as the tools to controls your Droid once complete, there are paper ones too but my daughter was straight into the App!

star ward droid pretty curious edf energy

star ward droid pretty curious edf energy

As you can see there are a fair few parts and circuits to navigate but the step by step instructions were easy to follow. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed working out what to do all by herself. I literally didn’t have to help her once and she absolutely relished this.

pretty curious

pretty curious edf energy

pretty curious

pretty curious edf energy

The App that accompanies the Droid becomes the controller too… a very important partner! It comes with more than 16 different missions for the Droid to undertake so no need for kids to become bored! Again, my daughter set all this up by herself. Being able to work out how to put something like this together without help was so important. It meant she didn’t have to ask anyone else to do it, which would’ve meant a disconnection between her and the Droid. She couldn’t wait to try out the circuits she’d connected and built, before it was even completed!

droid inventor kit pretty curious edf energy

Once the main control part of the Droid had been assembled, it was then time to add the body. These toys have been designed so that you can create your own inventions too and not just have the R2-D2. This encourages kids to think outside the box and customise their Droids in as many different ways as their imaginations allow! They can even ADD to the mix by buying different Little Bits kits.

All that needed to be added then was the outer shell and all the stickers. She had fun with that! The R2-D2 was complete… and doesn’t he look amazing?

pretty curious edf energy droid inventor kit

My daughter thought the whole process of building the Droid was great! She discovered she possessed the necessary skills to work out the logistics, the problem solving, the coordination, the design, and that she could do all this with no help!

Once she had played around with the Droid for a while, taking him all over the house, controlling him with the App, it was time for my twins to finally have a go!

pretty curious

They loved it… especially all the noises it makes! R2-D2 has a voice and he uses it!

My daughter was also encouraged to watch a virtual reality video about three women who work for EDF Energy in three very different roles… a structural engineer who helped design The Shard, a Research Engineer for off shore windfarms and a Coder who also founded crowdfunding website Mode for Me! She was amazed by these jobs and realistically she may never have known about these roles had it not been for us taking part in this campaign. I’m sure they inspired her to consider her career options more carefully now she has seen what she could do!

IMG_3610

I would absolutely tell anyone with a daughter to head over to the EDF Energy website as there’s so much information on there about the Pretty Curious programme. The events they organise too are challenging girls creatively to experience those career possibilities available by pursuing STEM subjects at school.

Also on the website you’ll find……

Future Me avatar and quiz

Create a sharable and personalised avatar in a STEM-related career to picture yourself in a potential future role ranging from a biologist to an electrical engineer. If you’re not sure what the future could hold, take their easy personality quiz to see what career may be best suited to your interests.

Parents quiz

Be the first to take the new parents quiz and see what STEM-related career would best suit your child. Identify their strengths, plus discover information and guidance on pursuing a career in that particular role once you receive your results.

We have fully appreciated collaborating with EDF Energy on their brilliant #PrettyCurious campaign – I feel as though we have benefited a great deal from it and learned so much. I really hope you find it educational too.

%d bloggers like this: